Get Started Fishing

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Girl fishing on the edge of a lake
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Get Started Fishing
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Whether you're new to fishing or just looking for a refresher on fishing techniques and guidelines, this section is for you. Find information on:

  • Fishing gear
  • Casting techniques
  • Handling fish
  • Cleaning and cooking methods
  • Ice fishing
  • Fishing events
  • And more!
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Fishing Classes
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Our Discover Nature — Fishing Program helps Missourians gain the skills and confidence to go fishing on their own.

  • Classes are free.
  • No special equipment needed — we’ll provide all the gear.

Advanced fishing classes are also available. 

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Keep or Release?

Even before you set out to fish, decide whether you’re fishing for fun or fishing for food. This will help you choose gear and get ready to practice good catch-and-release techniques if you’re just fishing for fun.

Catch-and-release helps fish grow bigger

If you handle fish carefully before releasing them, they have a good chance of surviving. Released fish can be caught over and over again. They grow large and produce even more fish for our pleasure. See Guidelines for Handling and Releasing Fish

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Featured Topics
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Fishing reel
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You don't need to spend a lot of money on fancy equipment to go fishing. In fact, this list of basic items will equip you nicely for your first outings.

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Girl holding fishing pole, getting ready to cast
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Accurate casting is a matter of timing and practice, not strength. Here are some tips to help you practice and improve your skills.

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Cleaning fish is easy with the right tools and a little practice.

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Resources